Comedy Central isn’t wasting any time — “Daily Show” correspondent Larry Wilmore will take over Stephen Colbert’s time slot in 2015, the network announced Friday night.
“The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” created and produced by “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, will debut next January after “The Colbert Report” wraps up for good this year, airing at 11:30 p.m. Colbert, of course, is heading over to CBS to take over “The Late Show” from David Letterman in 2015.
Wilmore, 52, is a familiar face to “Daily Show” fans — he’s been on the late-night show since 2006 and currently serves as “Senior Black Correspondent.” In addition, Wilmore, a veteran comedy writer, co-created “The PJs” (the animated show with Eddie Murphy) as well as the Emmy-winning “Bernie Mac Show.” Fans of “The Office” might also recognize him as the guy who ran the “Diversity Day” seminar; he also served as a consulting producer on the NBC comedy series.
“While Larry Wilmore is a brilliant comic and showrunner, this is all just a complicated ruse to get him to move to New York and turn him into a Knicks fan,” Stewart said in the announcement. He will serve as executive producer with Wilmore.
Wilmore chimed in as well: “I’m beyond excited to have this chance to continue my relationships with Comedy Central and the brilliant Jon Stewart,” he said. “I love the city of New York and promise to only wear my Laker t-shirts when I’m layering.”
As the late-night shuffle has taken place over the last few weeks, speculation had ramped up as to whether Comedy Central would mix things up and diversify the predominantly white and male line-up across the late-night TV spectrum. That fact was not lost on the network: “’The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore’ will provide viewers with a distinct point of view and comedic take on the day’s news from a perspective largely missing in the current late night landscape,” the show description reads. “The series will feature a diverse panel of voices currently underrepresented in comedy and television.”
For those keeping score at home: Now that Colbert is taking over for Letterman and Wilmore is taking over for Colbert, there’s only one replacement left — Craig Ferguson, who announced recently he’ll step down from “The Late Late Show” in December. Plus, whatever happens with Chelsea Handler over at E! — as the lone woman in late-night television, her name had been tossed around for this spot.
Meanwhile, more details for “The Minority Report” (such as fellow co-stars and writers) will be announced at a later date.
“[Wilmore’s] a spectacular talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless. “‘The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore’ follows in the Comedy Central tradition – bringing new perspectives to the day’s events and breaking ground in the world of late night television.”
It’s been a pretty exciting week for Wilmore. He also served as an executive producer and showrunner on the sitcom pilot “Black-ish,” which ABC just ordered to series. The Hollywood Reporter describes the comedy, starring Anthony Anderson, as a “semi-autobiographical comedy that centers on an upper-middle class black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.”